Occasionally, when I'm showing off for myself, I will get out a cookbook. But wait, there's more. I will then look through the cookbook and formulate plans for real meals I will consume in the future. I will then make a list of items necessary to create these meals of the future and I will go to the grocery store with the list and procure them. Now, this doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I'm always quite pleased with myself since the alternative is to sort of wander around aimlessly in Trader Joe's and come home with just chicken breasts, smoked turkey, and yogurt. Again.

Last week, I was all set to make red beans and rice, a recipe that involved multiple ingredients, including stalks of numerous fresh herbs. I know. I am a culinary genius. Step one of this process was to take a pound of red beans and soak them overnight in a pot of water. Which I did. Because I was Planning Ahead. In the morning I drained the water out and left the beans on the counter in their covered pot. Only it turns out that I wasn't home a lot that week and I didn't have time to cook something that requires two hours of simmering. So the beans just sat there in their pot. And that is how I learned what many elementary children already know from classroom science projects. Namely, if you leave wet beans in a covered pot for three days, they will do what they are designed to do: attempt to become bean plants. It is possible that beans that have sprouted are still edible, but when you open a pot and see a full pound of beans, each will a little tentacle bursting from it, they look a bit too much like aliens to be appetizing. Let's just say there should be plenty of bean plants sprouting from the compost bin soon.